A small business without a sales strategy is usually gone in three years, says Jeffry Graham.
That’s one reason he recently brought HowISell.com to Bellingham. The new company’s goal is to help small businesses improve sales numbers.
Typically a small business gets started because a business owner has a great idea and is passionate about it, but that person may not have the sales skills or background, Graham said. He noted that a chef may have a particular expertise at cooking but lacks the training to attract people to the restaurant.
For those trying to learn more about the selling portion of business, Graham can provide traditional consulting, or business owners can use his podcasts or e-books, which tackle the common issues that keep companies from succeeding. HowISell.com has some free podcasts on its website along with member-only content.
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Graham moved to the Bellingham area from Seattle a couple of years ago and found a strong small business community but one that is in a challenging selling climate.
This area has good infrastructure in place to provide information, such as Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center and a local chapter of SCORE, so he tries to focus on getting companies to implement a plan.
“I focus on what will make or break a business,” Graham said.
Some of those techniques were helpful to Architectural Elements, which recently made a shift to focus on more commercial projects. Architectural Elements owner Joe Clark said that the firm was able to put in a tracking system to help with estimating sales.
“It is really helpful when it comes to making sales projections,” Clark said, adding that it helped the company grow in that commercial segment.